Destination Disney!

We finally made it to Walt Disney World by way of St. Augustine! Days 6642 through 6649 in the Life were MAGICAL!

After a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving Day, we hit the road on Day 6642 in the Life, headed to St. Augustine, Florida.  We visited some our favorite spots, the Mission of Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of le Leche and the historic fort Castillo de San Marcos, and added a couple more favorites to our list.  This time we visited Potter’s Wax Museum, Spanish Military Hospital Museum, and Gonzalez-Alverez House Museum.  We took a carriage ride around the city at sunset, and toured Whetstone Chocolates Factory!

We’re patiently waiting for the chocolate factory tour to begin.

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Where Has the Time Gone!?!

Hi.  Remember us? It’s been two years, but we’re still here.  A lot has happened in those two years.  Our little one is a teenager.  {Boy is she ever a teenager.  Pray for us.}  Ruby and Angel have both left us.  Our little cottage is coming along but still isn’t complete.  One thing has remained the same.  Life at the Hill House is always an adventure.

When we last met {June of 2015} we were planning a mini-vacation to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Daytona Beach, Florida for Fourth of July weekend.

Days 6493 through 6497 in the Life

We started this mini-vacation in Jacksonville, Florida.  There’s not a whole lot for a small family to do in Jacksonville except visit the beach, but who wants to do that!?! {Just kidding, we live near a beach, so it gets a little boring.} The Jacksonville Zoo was amazing! It may be the best zoo we’ve seen.

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Not a Kid Anymore

In 48 days our little baby girl will be a teenager. The first order of business? The birthday party. And what theme does our soon-to-be teenager want? A drive in movie showing of a DreamWorks cartoon, Home. {We added Insurgent when we realized they would both be released in the two weeks before her birthday.}

Let the birthday spectacular planning begin!

Invitation

165 Days to Disney

My handy little Countdown to Disney iPhone app tells me that we only have 165 days to Disney! Woohoo!

Yesterday I ordered some decals for our Magic Bands from Customingland and Sassy Monogram and More. Very cute! Today I purchased a Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack {RED of course} for our in-park picnic lunches as well as our trip to Daytona International Speedway in July.911pypXq8tL

Amazon.com describes The Picnic Time Zuma Insulated Cooler Backpack as:

  • Stylish, lightweight and durable with divided sections and zippered pockets for all your stuff
  • Holds up to 20 cans at full capacity, 16 cans with room for ice packs
  • Shoulder straps with air mesh underside and handy cell phone pocket
  • Heat-sealed, water-resistant lining to guard against leaks

The upper mesh compartment is the perfect place to carry personal items like ponchos, souvenirs, bug spray, sunblock, deflated Mickey balloons after you’re tired of leaving them at the entrance to every ride, etc.

I see this thing being quite a handy contraption. The hubby can use it when he’s working in the yard. Fill it with water bottles {or cram his CamelBak reservoir in it} and hang it on a tree. We can fill it for small road trips to my grandmother’s house or my girlfriend’s in Georgia.

Mini-Vacay

Looks like we’ll be able to squeeze in a family mini-vacation this summer! Our destination? Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida. We’re excited!

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of family things to do in Jacksonville. The Zoo. Fort Caroline. The beach {we can stay home for that.} But just a short car ride away is St. Augustine. The oldest city in America. The first Catholic settlement. Living museums. Ghost train tours. Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Pirate ships. The list goes on and on.

And then, of course, Daytona for the Fourth of July. We’ve never been to a race, but since we will be driving home on Sunday before the Coca-Cola 400, we decided to see the Subway Firecracker 250 which is NASCAR XFINITY regulars facing off against Sprint Cup Series stars. {Hope someone understands all that racing jargon. It’s Greek to me!} Nonetheless, a good time for the Hills of Sims Mill Pond.
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Dewberries Again!?!

Yes, dewberries again. I have struggled with what to do with the big, empty space above my corner sink. Now that my lovely shelving is installed the big, empty space seemed bigger! There are so many things that I would like to do in the kitchen, but nothing stuck out for this space. Then it occurred to me. The dewberries. The dewberries that I’m so excited to pick I almost cannot wait for them to ripen. My beloved dewberries.

First I thought I would just print one large photograph of a ripened dewberry cluster. But I chose three photographs I have taken over the last month of my dewberry vines in different stages of growth. I had 11×14 prints made on mat-board backing and a UV coating. Instead of framing the prints {I’m really not into picture frames. I find them bulky and annoying.} I nailed them directly to the wall. Yes, I nailed them directly to the wall through the photographs and colored the nail head with a black marker to hide the nail. Now, I love this wall. {The hubby is not so sure about the frame-less prints.}

Dewberry-Prints

Creating Magic

While still in the beginning stages of planning our family vacation, I discovered there are quite a few useful resources that will be of great assistance. So far my favorites are:

With all of this wonderful advice, I decided to start a Vacation Planner binder. I designed my binder on Zazzle.com using our monogram. Zazzle offers a wide variety of Disney designs, but since Walt Disney World will not be our only vacation destination, I customized a binder to match my home binder.

I created dividers using Avery Index Maker White Dividers with the following categories:

  1. General Information
  2. Budget
  3. Packing List
  4. Resort/Hotel
  5. Dining
  6. Magic Kingdom
  7. Epcot
  8. Hollywood Studios
  9. Animal Kingdom
  10. Downtown Disney

I know it’s a lot, but with 40-square miles of property I don’t want to miss any of the magic!